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JOHN WILLIAMS has composed the music and served as a music director for more than 100 films, most recently War of the Worlds, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and The Terminal. He has received 43 Academy Award nominations, most recently for his 2004 score from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, making him the Academy's most nominated living person. He has been awarded five Oscars, six British Academy Awards (BAFTA), 18 Grammys, four Golden Globes, four Emmys and numerous gold and platinum records. Many of John Williams' film scores have been released as recordings; the soundtrack album from Star Wars has sold more than four million copies, making it one of the most successful non-pop albums in recording history.
Williams has written many concert pieces, including two symphonies, a cello concerto for Yo-Yo Ma, as well as concertos for flute, violin, clarinet, tuba, trumpet, and bassoon. His Seven for Luck, a song cycle based on the texts of former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, was given its world premiere at Tanglewood in 1998. The composer's recently premiered concerto for horn and orchestra was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for its principal horn Dale Clevenger.
In January 1980, John Williams was named nineteenth Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885. He currently holds the title of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor, which he assumed following his retirement in December 1993 after 14 highly successful seasons. He also holds the title of Artist-in-Residence at Tanglewood. His highly acclaimed series of albums with the Boston Pops Orchestra began in 1980 on the Philips label. In 1990, Williams and the Boston Pops began recording exclusively for Sony Classical.
In addition to leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood, John Williams has appeared as guest conductor with a number of major orchestras, including the London Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with which he has performed many times at the Hollywood Bowl. In 2000, he was one of the first inductees to the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. He led the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the world premiere of his work Soundings during the "Soundstage L.A." inaugural gala for Walt Disney Concert Hall in October 2003. Williams served as the Grand Marshal of the 2004 Rose Parade in Pasadena, and he was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor this past December.